In light of the conclusion of the World Championship, we address five frequently asked questions

In light of the conclusion of the World Championship, we address five frequently asked questions

World Championship News : Volleyball ruled the globe from August 26 to September 11. We now know the answers to the five questions we posed before the incredible FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship in Poland and Slovenia.

Can Poland win their third straight?

No. However, they came dangerously near…

It made sense, given the trend that began in the 1990s and continued through 2018: Italy won three consecutive global championships, Brazil won three consecutive titles, and Poland won two consecutive wins in 2014 and 2018. Polish volleyball was two sets away from a third straight World Championship.

Even without their injured star Wilfredo Leon on the court, the Polish national team displayed their immense potential in front of their huge fan base. They breezed through their pool with wins over Bulgaria and Mexico in straight sets, and a narrow loss to the United States in the second set. In the sixteenth-round, they easily dispatched Tunisia. Poland advanced to the final after prevailing in five-set matches against the United States once again in the quarterfinals and Brazil in the semifinals.

Katowice’s home team won the first set and led Italy by three points in the second on Sunday night, but ultimately fell short of a third straight gold medal. The Italians won the last match, ruining the Polish celebration, and became the second nation in history to win four World Championships in men’s volleyball (1990, 1994, 1998, and 2022). Poland won its sixth medal overall with their silver finish. In 1974, 2014, and 2018, they won gold; in 2006, they earned silver.

Could France make it three in a row at the international level?


In men’s volleyball, the days of a single team dominating the competition are long gone. Only once in the previous 32 years, from 2004 to 2008, did the same country have both the Olympic and world championships at the same time: Brazil. Though the French volleyball team won the Volleyball Nations League earlier this summer, any speculation that they would be the next team to accomplish this feat ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics was proven wrong.

Ljubljana group winners and Tokyo 2020 MVP Earvin Ngapeth and his squad defeated Germany and Cameroon 3-0 and edged out hosts Slovenia 3-2 in five sets. They faced up against Japan in the round of 16, and after another grueling five sets, they came out on top.

Their path to the semifinals was complicated by a matchup against eventual winners Italy. Both times they were up a set in the match, they lost the deciding set in a tiebreaker and were eliminated from the competition.

In its place, Italy now has simultaneous reigns as world and European champions. As far as we can tell, it has been 21 years since anything like this occurred. For the past three years (1990-1991, 1993-1997, and 1999-2001), the same nation was involved: Italy. The Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia were the only two nations to ever hold both the world and European titles at the same time.

When will Slovenia’s talented young athletes be given the chance to shine on the international stage?

Both, really.

No, because Slovenia, one of the co-host countries, wanted to finish on the podium for the first time in a major international competition. Yes, since even coming in fourth place was a huge deal for the little European country.

With three consecutive appearances in the CEV European Championship gold medal match and a semi-final showing at the VNL 2021 tournament, Slovenia jumped at the chance to co-host the 2022 World Championship in Ljubljana, expecting to be bolstered by the support of their fervent home supporters.

The amazing audience at Arena Stozice was also a big factor. In their second appearance at the FIVB World Championships, Tine Urnaut and his squad defeated Cameroon and Germany 3-0 each and lost in a thrilling five-set match against Olympic champion France. After beating Germany in four sets in their last match, Slovenia continued making history by advancing to the World Championship quarterfinals for the first time. Next, they beat Ukraine in four sets to maintain their place as one of the world’s top four teams.

Although this remarkable Slovenian generation of players played very well, they were unable to get to the medal rounds in Poland. They were swept by Italy, who went on to win the final, and take home bronze as Brazil beat Slovenia, 3-1.

Is it possible that Qatar, a newcomer to the World Cup, would steal one for the books?


Qatar, the sole debutant at this year’s World Cup, was placed in a very challenging group. Expecting to win at least one game against teams like Japan, Cuba, and Brazil was ambitious but not unrealistic, particularly considering that Qatar had previously beaten Japan three times in five meetings in continental tournaments.

Although this did not occur, the Gulf squad did not depart Ljubljana empty-handed. It was in their second Pool B match that they finally won their first set at a World Championship. Belal Abunabot, the Qatari middle, was on fire in the deciding third set, helping his side to a 25-22 victory thanks to his three kill blocks, two spiking points, and an ace. The Asian team almost pulled off a similar upset in their third match against eventual gold medalists Brazil, taking sets two and three before ultimately losing in straight sets.

Belal Abunabot

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Still, it was fantastic to see the competition’s expansion to a new nation, particularly one with such a strong commitment to the game.

When Poland and Slovenia compete in 2022, who will be the ace of the pack?

Mr. Oleh Plotnytskyi of Ukraine.

Volleyball fans everywhere still remember when Oleh Plotnytskyi, a Ukrainian prodigy, initially grabbed worldwide headlines for his astounding feats on the serving line. Six years ago, when still a junior international, he guided Ukraine to the final of the CEV U20 European Championship following a stunning semifinal triumph against Italy. Plotnytskyi’s serves single-handedly flipped the momentum of the tiebreaker from 13-8 in Italy’s favor to a 15-13 victory, earning him the match’s MVP honors.

Oleh Plotnytsky

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After a stellar performance in Poland-Slovenia 2022, Plotnytskyi was named captain of the Ukrainian senior national team. The 25-year-old outside hitter had as much as 18 aces in Ukraine’s five matches in the World Championship. That was six more aces than the next best server, the Netherlands’ Nimir Abdel-Aziz, who had been the favorite to win the event going in.

Plotnytskyi’s stellar play was vital in Ukraine’s run to a first-ever victory. On their second try, they advanced to the quarterfinals by finishing second in their pool and shocking Nimir and his Dutch counterparts in straight sets. There, they beat hosts Slovenia in the first set but lost the following three despite Plotnytskyi’s five aces and a tournament high 30 points.


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